Adrian Forbes could take the positives from an otherwise frustrating night as his under-21s fell to 2-0 defeat to a physical Colchester side on Wednesday evening.
A young Town side, including several members of the under-16s, competed well against their category 2 opponents but could not prevent a third straight defeat in the Premier League Cup.
“We are disappointed we didn’t get a positive result but I can’t fault the boys’ character and I can’t fault their performance in the second half,” Forbes said.
“Obviously we did concede in the second half, but we took the game to them. We had so many final third entries, balls going into the box, forcing the goalkeeper to make saves – it was just a game of nearly moments.
“We nearly scored, we nearly played that extra pass, we nearly completed that extra touch, and from my point of view, there is still lots to build on, lots to work on, but it bodes well for the future and I look forward to Chelsea at Kenilworth Road next month.
“There are still nine points to play for and I’m quietly confident we can still make a bit of a fist of it in this competition.”
This season is the first a Luton Town under-21 team has played competitive football so, despite the set-back, Forbes was happy to take everything in perspective.
“You can always look at a game like that and little things we could have done differently to stop goals going in, but I’ve got to reflect on the game and look at the bigger picture,” he said.
“I’ve said it before about this group, the team didn’t even exist two or three years ago, so the fact we are now here in this competition, playing against Leeds, playing against Chelsea and against Colchester, and then inviting those three teams back to Kenilworth Road over the next three months, I think we’ve got to look at that and see the positives.
“We’ve got to look at the group and see the likes of James Shea playing for the team and getting minutes, Andros Townsend playing for the team and getting minutes, Gabe Osho playing for the team and getting minutes, so we’ve got to look at the bigger picture as well.
“We’ve got two Under-16s playing in the team today, competing against 23-year-old men, and I just think it bodes so well for the future of the academy and the club. They weren’t just making up the numbers in the group. They deserve to be here and they competed against Colchester today and I actually think they were pivotal to the performance.
“We are a category 3 academy and we don’t get the opportunity to play in a league. Any games we play, other than the Beds Senior Cup and the Premier League Cup, we have to source our own fixtures, so we go through the season in effect playing the majority of our games as friendlies, whereas the likes of Colchester, Leeds and Chelsea are playing league fixtures every week, points to play for every week, so from a development point of view, that’s something that we at Luton Town can’t give them at this moment in time.
“But I will make sure over the next few weeks I am going to prepare those boys in the best way possible to go and compete against Chelsea, at home, then compete against Leeds and compete against Colchester, because those three teams still haven’t seen the best of us yet.”
The Town’s next match in the competition, against Chelsea, takes place on Tuesday 12th December at Kenilworth Road.